Wheelhouse Weekly – June 16, 2015

June 17th 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 24. . . June 16, 2015


In this issue:

Instructors Needed:

Coast Guard Correction:




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The MM&P Houston Hall will be closed on June 19 for Texas Emancipation Day.

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Crewmembers of the Shaver Transportation Tug CASCADES rescued two men they found clinging to the hull of a capsized sailboat on May 4 in the waters of the Wallula Gap, an area of the Columbia River known for high winds and heavy seas. Participating in the rescue were Jeremy Brock, Dennis Montgomery, Luke Olson, Eric Strand and Blake Tubbs. “I’m proud to represent these men,” said MM&P Regional Representative John Schaeffner. “Their seamanship and quick thinking saved two lives.”

The CASCADES was down-bound in the upper reaches of the Columbia with four loaded grain barges when the crew spotted the two men clinging to their capsized sailboat. It was “an observation which is difficult to do under the best of conditions,” Schaeffner says.

“We had been in the water for at least an hour and we were hypothermic,” Greg Clayton, one of the men rescued, wrote in a letter to Shaver Transportation President Steve Shaver. Crewmembers in the tug’s skiff pulled Clayton and his friend Rocky Brooks out of the cold water. Back aboard the CASCADES, “they dried our clothing, wrapped us in blankets and gave us coffee to increase our body temperatures,” Clayton wrote. “They were professional and courteous to a man. They all went way above and beyond.”

The crew helped the two men get a taxi at Umatilla, the next port of call. “I do not think we could have lasted much longer,” Clayton said. “They saved our lives, for which we are truly grateful.”

“Job well done,” agreed Shaver Transportation HR Manager Ken Anderson. “It was fortunate that we were in the right place at the right time with the proper gear, training and a crew willing to do what was needed to save the lives of these two men.”

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On June 12, opposition by labor unions and their allies in the House of Representatives derailed a piece of legislation necessary to clear a path for a vote on a controversial trade deal that the White House is negotiating with 11 other nations bordering the Pacific Ocean. President Obama is seeking “fast track authority” to negotiate the deal without allowing Congress to debate or amend it. Along with labor, the measure is opposed by environmentalists, consumer groups and the generic drug industry, among others.

Labor presented what seemed to be a completely cohesive united front, which included public employees and service workers. Unions assert that whatever the overall benefits to the economy, the trade deal and others like it would accelerate the loss of well-paying, middle class jobs, as was the case with the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, which by all accounts cost the U.S. economy hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“The pay levels people would have to compete with are obscene,” said Larry Cohen, a former Communications Workers of America president, who led the coalition against the Pacific trade deal.

Since March, according to the AFL-CIO, union members have held 650 events opposing the legislation. They have made about 160,000 phone calls to members of Congress and written more than 20,000 letters. The federation also produced digital ads, which have received more than 30 million views, aimed at several dozen members of Congress.

“We are very grateful to all the activists, families, community leaders and elected officials who worked so tirelessly for transparency and worker rights in international trade deals,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in an official statement released after the House nixed the fast track bill. “This was truly democracy in action.”

This week, efforts are underway in the Republican-led House to revive the legislation, including by means of procedural changes that would allow the measure to bypass the opposition which is being mounted mostly by Democrats.

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Congressman Denny Heck, a Washington State Democrat who is a strong advocate for the American Merchant Marine, was one of the representatives who voted on June 12 against giving the President “fast-track” authority.

“Trade is a vital part of Washington’s economy,” Heck said in a statement before the vote. “There is no doubt about that. Trade does not, however, exist in a vacuum, and for any agreement to be successful, we need to think bigger picture. Investing in our infrastructure, implementing comprehensive immigration reform, and reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank are some of the priorities that are being ignored during this debate. If we want to build an economy ready to compete with the rest of the world, we need to broaden this trade effort to include a commitment to actions that will bolster our economy back home.”

“Accordingly, and after a great amount of input from constituents in the 10th District, I will vote no on trade promotion authority, known as fast track. I am open to trade legislation that enhances our ability to better compete in a global economy, but this approach is piecemeal and does not do enough to advance the interests and potential of the hard-working Americans I represent. We can do better.”

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Supporters of the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States prevailed by a wide margin in a test vote held on June 10. The vote to reauthorize the bank was 65–31. MM&P, MIRAID and others in our industry have been working in support of the bank’s reauthorization.

The Export-Import Bank helps finance the export of American goods and services from companies throughout the United States. It helped to facilitate more than $37 billion in export sales in FY 2013, supporting more than 200,000 American jobs. A percentage of Ex-Im Bank financed exports must be shipped on U.S.-flag commercial vessels, providing an important source of cargo for the U.S.-flag fleet. The authorization for the Export-Import Bank expires on June 30, 2015.

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Washington State Congressman Derek Kilmer told his colleagues in the House of Representatives on June 5 that the Jones Act serves as a cornerstone of America’s economy and national security. He made the remarks in a speech on the House floor marking the 95th anniversary of passage of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the official name of the Jones Act.

The Jones Act protects the jobs of U.S. mariners, including every member of MM&P, by guaranteeing, among other things, that cargoes traveling by water between two U.S. ports be shipped on U.S.-built and U.S.-owned vessels crewed by U.S.-citizen mariners. Kilmer’s address to the House appears below.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an important milestone in maritime history. On June 5, 1920, the landmark Merchant Marine Act became law, establishing the importance of maintaining a strong domestic maritime fleet.”

“That law, known as the Jones Act, was the anchor that allowed the United States to launch a highly trained and skilled group of mariners who can serve to protect our nation in times of national emergency. It supports our shipyard industrial base and preserves our capacity to defend our homeland, patrol the seas, and promote American jobs.”

“Ninety-five years later, it’s clear that the Jones Act has stood the test of time.”

“Gen. Paul J. Selva, the Commander of U.S. Transportation Command, recently said, ‘I can stand before any group as a military leader and say that without the contribution that the Jones Act brings to the support of our industry, there is a direct threat to national defense, and I will not be bashful about saying it and I will not be silent.’”

“I couldn’t agree more,” Kilmer said. “General Selva doesn’t stand alone in defending the Jones Act from its critics.”

“In fact, Congress passed one of the strongest statements of support for the Jones Act last year as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, recognizing that it promotes ‘a strong domestic trade maritime industry, which supports the national security and economic vitality of the United States and the efficient operation of the United States transportation system.’”

“Mr. Speaker, I look forward to working with my colleagues to maintain the Jones Act for a new century, fight for our domestic maritime industry, and make sure that high quality, American-made vessels are being piloted by American mariners.”

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The State University of New York Maritime College is looking for instructors for the second half of this year’s summer training cruise aboard the TS EMPIRE STATE. Employment on the summer training cruise offers an opportunity to assist with the at-sea, practical training of the mariners of tomorrow, as well as to participate in a great itinerary.

MM&P has a labor referral agreement with SUNY. It allows active members to extend their MM&P medical coverage and MITAGS training benefits. MM&P pensioners are allowed employment for the summer sea term under our Pension Plan Rules. If you are interested in applying for a job as an instructor, please fill out the application on the college’s web site.

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The U.S. Coast Guard published a correction to its May 27 announcement concerning seafarers’ access to maritime facilities to clarify that comments on the proposed rulemaking must be received by July 27.

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There are some things every dad should have. Labor 411 presents three essentials for the father who does it all. Get him one or all three for Father’s Day this year and know you’re giving quality, union-made gear. And remember, whenever you buy, look for the Made in USA label!

First gift idea for Dad: union-made boots. Whether he’s trudging, hiking or stomping, it’s all better with a sturdy pair of boots he can batter at will. Union-made bootmakers include Wolverine, Carolina, Danner, Red Wing, Thorogood and Wood N’ Stream.

Next gift idea: tools. So many jobs to be tackled, and there’s a tool or two (or three) for each one. Union toolmakers include Channellock, Craftsman, Ridgid, Stanley Hand Tools, Black & Decker and Snap-On.

And finally, there are grills: When it comes to putting a flame to the food, Weber is a household name, and for good reason. Don’t skimp here. Get him only the union best, he’s earned it. Weber grills include Genesis, Summit and Q series. Get more gift ideas at

By making the choice to spend your money on products and services that are made in our country by workers who are treated fairly and paid a living wage, you can help protect the middle class, strengthen our national economy and build a stronger America. Go to today to find out more.

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The combined effect of vessel protection measures and naval policing has led to a drop in piracy in the Western Indian Ocean, which has led some foreign fishermen to return to areas off the coast of Somalia that remain extremely dangerous.

This is one conclusion of a report issued recently by an industry research group, Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP). In its fifth annual State of Maritime Piracy Report, the researchers found that in 2014, the number of successful pirate attacks increased in Southeast Asia, declined in the Western Indian Ocean and remained stable in the Gulf of Guinea.

In Southeast Asia, OBP reports, pirates succeeded in boarding almost all the vessels they targeted, with 800 seafarers reporting threats or physical attacks. In the Gulf of Guinea, where under-reporting and failure to prosecute exacerbate the situation, the number of reported attacks remained within historic patterns, the study found.

In the Western Indian Ocean, the researchers said 320 seafarers were subjected to physical attacks by pirates last year. Twenty-six hostages remain in captivity three years after their vessel, the FV NAHAM 3, was hijacked in March of 2012.

Overall, however, the combined effect of naval policing, vessel rerouting, higher freeboards and increased speed has led to a significant decline in piracy in the region. But the researchers report that the “perceived reduction” in threat levels has led many foreign fishermen to risk a return to areas that are still extremely dangerous.

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The Paris Memorandum of Understanding (Paris MoU) has published its annual “White, Grey and Black List,” which ranks flag states by quality. The Paris MoU consists of 27 participating maritime administrations and covers the waters of the European coastal states and the North Atlantic basin from North America to Europe.

The list is based on the total number of inspections and detentions over a three-year rolling period for flags with at least 30 inspections in the period.

Of the 72 flags listed in the report for 2014, 43 are on the white list, 19 are on the grey list and 10 are on the black list.

For the third year in a row, France has placed the highest, followed by Hong Kong, the Bahamas, Norway and Sweden. The United States is number 9 on the white list, behind the United Kingdom and ahead of Italy, Singapore, the Marshall Islands, China and Greece.

New on the grey list are four flag states which last year were on the white list: Spain, Lithuania, Poland and Thailand.

There were 10 flags on the black list, including the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Moldova, Togo, the Cook Islands and Dominica. New to the black list in 2014 was Belize, which in 2013 was on the grey list.

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MITAGS needs your current address! Have you moved recently? Did you remember to send MITAGS your new address for communications regarding courses? Please send your current contact information to or to the fax number below.

New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: . Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 8/17/15, 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 6/19/15, 7/13/15

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/4/15, 9/22/15, 1/26/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/1/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/3/15, 10/19/15, 2/1/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 11/9/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 9/28/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/10/15, 10/5/15, 1/25/16

BT-Revalidation – 8/4/15, 11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 7/27/15, 9/28/15, 1/25/16, 3/28/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 8/3/15, 10/19/15, 1/4/16, 3/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 8/17/15, 9/21/15, 10/5/15,11/2/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/21/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM):6/22/15, 7/13/15, 8/10/15, 8/31/15, 9/28/15, 10/26/15, 11/16/15, 11/30/15, 1/18/16,2/15/16, 3/14/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/16/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 9/14/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/13/15, 8/10/15, 8/24/15,10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15, 1/11/16, 2/8/16, 3/14/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/20/15, 8/17/15, 8/31/15,10/12/15, 11/16/15, 12/7/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/21/16

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/30/15, 2/29/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/9/15

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 7/14/15, 11/12/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 7/20/15, 8/24/15, 9/21/15, 10/19/15, 11/9/15,12/14/15, 1/4/16, 2/8/16, 3/21/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/10/15, 10/5/15, 1/25/16, 2/22/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 7/6/15, 9/15/15, 11/11/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/22/16

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/24/15, 3/7/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/22/15, 8/31/15, 11/16/15

LAP- 9/14/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/25/16

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 8/3/15, 11/30/15, 3/7/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 9/21/15

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 7/6/15, 8/17/15, 9/14/15, 10/12/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/28/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 8/24/15, 12/7/15, 1/4/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 7/27/15, 9/28/15, 2/1/15, 3/14/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 8/24/15, 10/12/15, 12/7/15, 1/4/15, 2/15/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/20/15, 7/25/15, 8/28/15, 11/5/15, 12/12/15, 1/9/15, 1/31/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/19/15, 10/29/15, 3/8/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 8/17/15, 10/27/15, 3/5/16

*MSC-ENVPRO –8/16/15, 10/31/15, 2/28/16

*MSC-FF-HELO –8/3/15, 11/2/15, 2/22/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 8/8/15, 10/19/15, 1/4/16, 2/29/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 8/6/15, 10/17/15, 2/26/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –8/12/15, 10/23/15, 1/8/16, 3/4/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –8/13/15, 10/24/15, 1/10/16, 3/5/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/3/15, 9/21/15, 1/25/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 6/17/15, 7/8/15, 7/22/15, 8/5/15, 8/19/15, 9/2/15, 9/16/15, 9/30/15, 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15, 1/6/16, 1/13/16, 2/3/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/27/15, 1/18/16, 2/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/19/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 6/22/15, 11/2/15, 2/15/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 7/27/15, 9/28/15, 1/25/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/3/15, 2/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/6/15, 1/4/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/3/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 7/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15, 10/17/15, 2/15/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 9/28/15, 3/21/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/14/15, 2/29/16

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Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen: 206.838.1126 or

June 2015

22-26 Leadership and Managerial Skills
22-26 Basic Meteorology
29-3 Leadership and Managerial Skills

July 2015

6-24 Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
13-17 Leadership and Managerial Skills
13-24 GMDSS
20-23 ARPA
27-31 Radar Observer Unlimited

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973. All rights reserved. The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on